How can I help myself?

There are various ways in which you can help yourself when living with pulmonary fibrosis.

Healthy Lifestyle

Have a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. These contain antioxidants which may be beneficial to your lungs as well as your general health. Try to keep your weight optimum, as you will feel more breathless if you are overweight.


Regular exercise is important as it helps to maintain muscle strength, improves sleep and general well-being. But exercise can be difficult to do when you are breathless. Getting slightly short of breath when you exercise is safe, however you must stop if you feel dizzy or have chest pains.

Start with gentle walking around the house or garden on a regular basis. As you feel stronger, you can increase the distance that you walk. You may find it helpful to set yourself targets or discuss an exercise program with your doctor or physiotherapist.

Stop smoking

If you still smoking, the most important thing you can do is to stop. There are many resources available to help with smoking cessation. A good place to start is discussing this with you or GP or local pharmacist. For more information please click here to visit the NSH Smokefree website.


People with lung disease are at an increased risk of infection. Having the seasonal flu vaccine may help to reduce your this risk. You should also check if your pneumonia vaccine is up to date. Your GP or hospital doctor will be able to advise.

Some advice from other patients:


Advice from patients, carers and supporters. You told us what you would say to a friend who had been diagnosed. Thank you.

Posted by Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis on Thursday, 22 November 2018